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Sussex County man assaults shopper, blames him for COVID-19 pandemic, police say

FRANKLIN BOROUGH, NJ (Sussex County) – A Sussex County was charged after he allegedly used racial slurs and assaulted a man and blamed him for the COVID-19 pandemic, police said.

Robert A. Winter, 65, of Vernon was charged and arrested with terroristic threats, simple assault, two counts of bias intimidation, and two counts of harassment.

On Sunday, March 15, at around 8:20 a.m., officers responded to the ShopRite in Franklin Borough for a reported bias incident, police said.

According to police, Winter reportedly assaulted and harassed a black man, while referring to him using a racial slur and blaming him, in part, for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Winter was charged and released, as per the New Jersey Bail Reform act, pending an appearance in Central Judicial Processing in Sussex County Superior Court.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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